The 31-year-old big man sharpshooter had a phenomenal comeback season for the Phoenix Suns last year. After missing all of 2012-13, he averaged 28.2 minutes in starting every single game for the surprise 48-win franchise. He averaged 11.1 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. His best skill is his three-point shooting: He has shot 38.9% on 6.8 such attempts per 36 minutes in his last four seasons played.
Phoenix was tremendous with Frye on the court last season: They had a 110.4 offensive rating with him on the court, only 102.5 without him. He provided tremendous floor spacing and lineups with him, should-have-been All-Star Goran Dragic and fellow free agent P.J. Tucker were really, really good. Cavs fans likely were scarred by Phoenix after that infamous Sunday night game in late January.
Frye was another potential Cleveland frontcourt target, a logical connection because of his shared time in Phoenix with GM David Griffin. Frye would have been an excellent replacement for the similarly skilled Spencer Hawes. Over the weekend, the 26-year-old Hawes agreed to terms on a four-year $23 million deal with the Los Angeles Clippers. That deal includes a player option for the fourth season. No word yet on if Frye’s deal might include any options as well.
Orlando might seem to be an odd fit … but after investing heavily in Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon in recent drafts, they need to add complementary scoring. They also drafted Elfrid Payton and surprisingly signed Ben Gordon. Yes, four years is a lot for the 31-year-old Frye, but we knew it would be a very competitive market place for his services.
What’s next for the Cavs? Who knows right now. Their fully guaranteed frontcourt: Brendan Haywood, Tyler Zeller, Tristan Thompson and Anthony Bennett. Of course, Anderson Varejao has a partially guaranteed deal ($9.7 million total with $4M guaranteed) and they traded for second-rounder Dwight Powell. That’s not a very impactful unit right now. It’s very young and very raw. Everything changes with one certain free agent, but if not him? The secondary options are flying off the market.
Photo: AP Photo/Matt York